Expert Staff

The Interdisciplinary Team

A team of rehabilitation professionals, in conjunction with the physician specialist (orthopedic surgeon, pediatrician, geriatrician, neurologist, cardiologist, pulmonary specialist and/or rheumatologist), works with the patient and family to plan and implement
an individualized plan of rehabilitative care. The team includes:

Physiatrist: All Sunnyview physiatrists are physicians board-certified in physical medicine. The physiatrist is responsible for the direction of a patient's rehabilitation, including prescribing medicines and therapeutic interventions, as well as ordering appropriate medical diagnostic tests and specialty consultations.

Rehabilitation nurse: Sunnyview employs certified rehabilitation registered nurses (CRRNs) who specialize in helping individuals affected by chronic illness or physical disability to adapt to their disabilities, achieve their greatest potential, and work toward productive, independent lives. CRRNs take a holistic approach to meeting a patient's medical, vocational, educational and environmental needs.

Physical therapist: Sunnyview's physical therapists evaluate mobility, balance, strength and endurance. At Sunnyview, treatment revolves around maintaining joint flexibility, normalizing movement, walking, wheelchair management and high level physical skill. Physical therapists can also assess whether or not a patient is capable of intensifying an exercise program that might lead to greater physical conditioning.

Occupational therapist: Occupational therapists address the patient's self-care, home situation and management, functional mobility and community living skill needs. The occupational therapist provides the patient with opportunities to practice "real life" activities to help the individual achieve the highest possible level of independence.

Speech/language pathologist: The speech and language pathologist offers diagnostic and therapeutic interventions focused on listening/reading comprehension, verbal/written expression, reasoning/problem solving and interpersonal skills, as well as voice and swallowing function.

Neuropsychologist: Sunnyview's neuropsychologists evaluate important cognitive skills (e.g. attention, memory, reasoning) relevant both to participation in rehabilitation and functioning in the community. The neuropsychologist also evaluates the patient's emotional status as a means of identifying potential barriers to progress in rehabilitation. The neuropsychologist consults with a patient's clinical team to establish goals and offers support to family members. All neuropsychologists at Sunnyview have doctoral degrees, as well as specialized training in the realm of brain/behavior relationships.

Social worker: The social worker acts as the family advocate, assisting family members in adjusting to changes in the family structure that may result from a patient's illness, injury or surgery. The social worker also helps the patient cope with the changes that may be experienced as a result of the illness, injury or surgery, and may also help determine community-based services a patient may need after leaving Sunnyview. All social workers at Sunnyview have master's degrees in social work.

Recreation therapist: Sunnyview's recreation therapists offer group and individual sessions to encourage and motivate patients to participate in enjoyable and constructive activities as inpatients and outpatients.

Special educator: The special educator works with the rehabilitation team to assess the patient's academic strengths and needs. With the assistance of other team members, the special educator will identify and implement academic strategies to help the patient/student maximize learning when they return to school.

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